Is Savannah Really that Bad? (Richmond Hill, Dallas: appointed, sale, real estate)
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I have seriously been considering a move from NYC to Savannah - I want to go South generally, I love the South and initially Savannah appeared to be a good choice (I've visited before). I'm becoming uncertain because of some posters' opinions about the crime and job situations.
First, as far as crime - I'm from NYC, I've seen it all, and I don't scare easily, so my first instinct would be to shrug that off. Plus, I am a bit familiar with some of the outlying areas around Savannah that do not seem to suffer from the high crime rates inside the city - so it's not that big a deal to me (it can't possibly be worse than NYC under Koch and/or Dinkins - you can't imagine what that was like!)
The other concerns/opinions people have expressed as to Savannah re lifestyle (I'm definitely ready to slow down), religiousity (I'm a practicing Catholic), politics (I'm plenty conservative) would also not necessarily dissuade me from making this choice.
That being said, some of the things I've heard regarding the job situation have put the fear of God into me - I have 20+ years of experience (paralegal, office manager, legal secretary) and the idea of taking $8.00 or $10.00/hour seems incredibly unreasonable for that type of work. I would be moving to Savannah with a pretty decent nest egg but no job lined up - is there a viable job market out there? I know I cannot possibly make what I pull in in NYC, but is it possible to make a halfway decent living in Savannah, considering that the cost of living is significantly lower? I have already subscribed to the local paper and have started emailing some employment agencies locally to inquire directly about wages/availability, etc. -but have not had too much success. Are there any Savannah/surrounding area locals who can provide more information in this regard? I would appreciate any help!
I am planning another scouting trip to Savannah in late Spring (I love the area as a tourist anyway, so even if I end up deciding against it, the trip would not be a loss), so regardless I am still willing to come in and look for myself, I just want to hear what Savannah locals have to say.
You know I'm not sure what's up with the extremely negative posts about Savannah. I imagine it's a way for unhappy people to get attention. The crime is real, and it can be bad, but it is not something that stops any established resident from going about their normal lives.
If you have the amount of experience you say you have I believe that you will be able find a good paying job. I know a number of attorneys and none of their staff walk around in rags.
I've just checked the Savannah yellow pages under attorneys, there are 60 pages worth. I don't know if there is a professional organization you can contact, but I'd try to go the direct route and maybe make a few cold calls to find out how and where the job listings will be. For some reason, the newspaper doesn't sound like the best place to look. My guess is that much of it is word of mouth...I'll give it some thought. pm me if you like.
If you are a practicing Catholic, you will be warmly welcomed. There is an old and vibrant community in the city. While you are on vacation, stop by the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist downtown, maybe attend a service.
There is a good mix of both conservative and liberal minded people in the city. That's what I love about it. In any given social setting you may find yourself with people with many different backgrounds, all getting along. One of my best friends is a staunch Republican (and I am not) but we agree to disagree and like each other as much or more because of it.
There is a large number of very poor people in Savannah, but I've never been anywhere in the US where there weren't. Overt racism seems to be less of a problem there than in several other southern cities I've lived in. There is something about living so close to one another in the inner city that breeds more tolerance and acceptance than if we were were widely separated.
I think what is going on in Savannah, as far as crime is concerned is no different that what has gone on in Baltimore, New Orleans, Birmingham and many other mid-sized older cities. It's a fact of life. No one is complacent about it. We'd all like it to improve, but it is a difficult task.
I am the person who posted the original message "I would not move to Savannah." I am not an unhappy person trying to get attention. My #1 complaint about Savannah is the job market and I want to warn other people. The people making positive comments about the city have probably not actually looked for a job recently. I have and I know what's out there. (Ellie, I would like to know when is the last time you have been on an interview or looked for a job?)
You probably will not make much more than $10 an hour to start here. That is all that jobs pay here. It does not matter what your education or experience is. I have a Bachelor's Degree and years of office experience. I have had to fight with people over the years just to try to get $8 an hour and I wasn't always successful.
I have seen people relocate here from other parts of the country without researching the job market first and then be disappointed with the low wages. I worked with a lady who relocated here from Kansas. She assumed she'd make about $12 an hour and she was offered $9. I worked with a girl who relocated here from Chicago. She assumed she'd make about $16 an hour and she was offered $9. I knew a guy who relocated here from Maryland. He assumed he'd get a good salary with his experience and computer skills. He was offered $18K a year. I knew a lady who relocated here from Dallas. She made $40K a year there and was offered $8.75 an hour here. I worked with a lady from NYC. She made $15 an hour there and was offered $9 here.
When you are in Savannah definitely take the time to visit several of the local temp agencies and talk to them about the openings they have. They can give you more information.
My advice to anyone who is considering this area: Do not move until you get a job offer and a salary you afford to live on!!!!!
Last edited by new28moon; 03-15-2007 at 08:50 AM..
Reason: edited for clarity
I'm so terribly sorry. I have never worked a day in my life!!!
It may be difficult to find a job in certain fields, but I really believe, from personal experience, from having worked a number of $7-10/hr jobs, at the exact same time you did in the same city, that the jobs are out there. And I was a single woman and supported myself.
But I refused to get stuck and I worked my skinny a** off to move forward.
I am so terribly sorry that it has not worked out for you. But you cannot make a blanket statement about a city and not expect someone to have a completely different point of view on the situation.
Plus you have to take in to account that everyones situation is different. When I make the move I will have no debt and maybe a $200-$300 mortgage at most. Plus income coming in from other sources. I would think that we could live comfortably even on those low wage figures. Many of us our selling our houses in other parts of the country and cashing out some equity. It's different than if we lived there all our lives at those wages. The smartthing is to not over extend yourself.
Yikes....why does every topic have to come down to arguing about crime and employment. We KNOW crime exists here, but name me one place on earth where it doesn't? Do we have it as bad as some third world countries? I would venture to guess that the answer is no. Is this area the worst area in the U.S., I doubt it. Is this the best place in the U.S., I doubt that as well.
As far as jobs go, it can be hard anywhere depending on your profession and experience. When I lived in PA, it took me over a year to find a job in my field and when I did, I didn't get paid nearly what I should have. I was working as an organic/analytical chemist and only making about $9/ hr. I got offered a job in another state, for $20/hr. I wanted to stay close to family, so I took the $9 and worked up. Ironically, I quit after making what I wanted to start at and got into real estate.
My point is that there is no perfect place. There are some places that some people love and others hate. It's all about personal points of view. I don't think bashing a place or going out of your way to make a place sound perfect, is very beneficial. If someone wants to know what a place is like, you tell them the simple good and bad facts and try to keep your personal bias out of it. I didn't think I was going to like it here, just from a weekend visit. But after awhile it kinda grows on you. As far as jobs go, I am doing real estate here. I am not making any money as of yet, only losing money. I didn't expect to come here and have a lot of business over night though. And I truly do it to try to help other people. I know when we were getting ready to move here, I couldn't find nearly the amount or type of information that I wanted. Now, I try to relay as much information as possible. Does Savannah fit everyone? NO. You say it once to a person and you've done your duty. No need to go on and on about it. I believe you, they believe you. Are you making things better here by deterring people, may be and may be not. Let them form their own personal opinions, you just give them the facts.
Thanks to everyone for their contributions thus far.
I initially tried to post a reply earlier, but somehow lost it, so I'm trying again.
I think it is a valuable thing to hear both the negative and positive from locals, since there is nothing better than subjective opinions - you can't get that from a city's relocation packet. Truthfully, I would probably come off as totally negative if anyone asked me about life in NYC - I can't stand it (despite my success), others totally love it and would probably be spoiling for a fistfight if they heard any criticism. So let's just say there are positives and negatives - but if anyone wants to hear my unvarnished opinion, I'll answer any questions.
The issue as to jobs is this - I don't work for a large firm, so there aren't any branch offices I can move to. I also have to sell my apartment first, which any real estate agent will tell you is a process that can take months. It's a co-op (which may be strictly a NYC thing), so there would be additional financing/board approval issues that will have to be dealt with. Another thing - companies generally want local residents for jobs - I know I did when I hired people. Can't blame them - it cuts down on starting delays. So it's unlikely that I will have a job lined up upon arrival.
On the plus side, I wouldl be moving with the sale profit, plus savings and absolutely no debt, so I should be able to survive for a bit without work - I just would rather not deplete my financial resources significantly during a job search. I'm certainly willing to work my way up. But as it is, I already will most likely have to set up an escrow with a landlord to draw down rent for the duration of my lease, since I'll be unemployed. Also, the sooner I'm employed, the sooner I can buy a house, which is really important to me.
That said, I'll be back in Savannah in late spring, to see for myself.
To jvinc: You can rent a mail box at one of the local mailing places here when you are in town. Then you will have a local address to put on your resume. Savannah is primarily a blue collar town. That's why you're not seeing more white collar openings listed in the local paper because that's what the market is here.
I will not respond to the other comments posted which are irrelevant to my situation. You are NOT working in my field and you have NOT been on an adminstrative job interview recently.
How safe would a black man or a gay couple be walking thru Rincon or Richmond Hill at 3 am?
They'd be the only one's on the street, so the citizens wouldn't bother them. The police on the other hand.......
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